Hotels at Asbury Park Burned
Asbury Park. N. J., was recently visited by a fire that swept four blocks, wiping out 19 hotels, the Whelen home, two stone buildings, six garages, 16 cottages, two theatres (the Murphy and the Krug amusement hall), a church and the Hotel Natatorium at a loss estimated at $800,000. The fire was discovered by a police officer about 11 p. m., in the Hotel Natatorium, a recently constructed building with a swimming pool in the center, at a cost of $200,000. The nre was probably caused by defective wiring. Chief Henderson immediately saw that with a wind blowing 65 miles an hour and the construction of the buildings, it was a serious and dangerous fire. Companies were sent, to assist Chief Henderson, from the following towns: Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, Ocean Grove, Avon, Bradley Beach, Newtown City and West Grove. Many of the companies sent engines. Chief Henderson handled the fire skilfully despite many difficulties, fighting the fire at close range and wetting down roofs of buildings for several blocks. It seemed as if the Hotel Natatorium was afire from wall to wall within thirty minutes after it had started.
Bathers and lodgers had barely time to secure their clothing from locker rooms and dash into the street when the building was wrapped in flames. Sparks and burning timbers were blown against adjacent buildings and across the streets, setting fire to the Murphy and King amusement halls, then to Daly’s theatre and the Davenport Inn. It then swept through that building to the Grand Central Hotel adjoining and to other property as far as Grand avenue. Attemps were made to blow up some buildings by dynamite but only a small amount of explosives were found, not sufficient to blow up a single cottage. Chief Henderson succeeded in stopping the fire at Grand avenue. Most of the houses were old buildings. The principal losses were as follows: Sea Rest, $125,000; Davenport Inn, $50,000; Surf House, $30,000; Winthrop Hotel, $70,000; Virginia Hotel, $40,000; Southern Hotel, $60,000; Carlton Hotel, $75,000.